Stillness, Pregnancy, Skin Care

Stillness, Pregnancy, Skin Care

IN THIS ISSUE: * Give In To Stillness – Enhance Your Massage by Completely Stopping * Pregnancy & Product Safety * Your Best Winter Skin Care

Give In To Stillness: Enhance Your Massage by Completely Stopping

By Jennie Hastings Stancu

We live in a culture that likes to go, go, go. It’s often difficult to find a place to step off and pause for a while, allowing your world to slow down just a little. One of the best antidotes to this constant, frenetic lifestyle is a good, old-fashioned massage.

STILLNESS DURING MASSAGE – You may come in wound up from the stress of being late, the crazy day you had at work, or just because life happens at ever-increasing speeds. When I have a client come in frazzled and spinning, I think of my massage table as the net that catches her, and my work as the anchor that holds her long enough to activate the nervous system’s parasympathetic response—the place where she lets her mind be still and her stresses float away. My suggestion to completely stop has to do with holding clients in stillness, just for a few breaths, a few times during the bodywork session. When clients come in for a massage, they are looking forward to me moving and manipulating their muscle tissue, and I respect this contract. However, I do think there is room in any good massage for all movement to cease, just for a moment, so that stillness can be experienced fully. I think it makes sense to have at least three moments of complete stillness in a massage: right at the beginning, at some point in the middle, and at the end. During a moment of complete stillness, I let my palms rest on my client’s body at whatever point I am working. For example, I like to rest at the head, hips, sacrum, knees, and feet. During the moment of stillness, I take three deep, full breaths. My clients pick up on the cue and deepen their breaths as well. Sometimes while my hands are still, I will feel twitches and adjustments in my clients’ bodies, and I may also be able to feel more clearly any lines of tension during these same moments. Thirty seconds of complete stillness may feel like a long time to you if you are used to constant movement during a massage, but even if I do this a few times, it is not taking much away from muscle manipulation, and it gives clients support in doing something we all need to do on a regular basis: completely stopping. Clients walk away from the massage with a little more bodily knowledge of what it feels like to be still, and this knowledge will support them later. …Click here for full publication Body Sense Winter 2013